The list of stars walking the red carpet at next week's world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been revealed - with one notable cast member missing.

Sir Ian McKellan, who plays the wizard Gandalf the Grey, won't be able to make the film's screening at Wellington's Embassy Theatre, but said it was "thrilling" that director Sir Peter Jackson and other Hobbit cast and crew will be reunited.

"I know they will have a wonderful welcome from the fans and I envy them. As ever, my heart is in Wellington, and I send my love."

However, Gandalf won't be far from people's minds as a giant sculpture of the wizard will overlook the red carpet celebration from a perch on the front of the theatre.


Those who will walk the 500m carpet along Courtenay Place will be filmmakers Sir Peter, Fran Walshe and Philippa Boyens.

Fans will also get to star gaze at Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage, who stars as the Dwarf warrior Thorin Oakenshield, Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving, who reprise their roles from The Lord of the Rings as the Elf Queen Galadriel and Elf Lord Elrond.

Andy Serkis also returning to the role of Gollum, and Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, will also be at the star-studded premiere.

Also attending the show will be the cast playing the Company of Dwarves, including Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, James Nesbitt and Dean O'Gorman.

Australian comedian Barry Humphries, who plays the Goblin King will also join the celebrations.

Pre-carpet entertainment will begin at 3pm and the filmmakers and stars of the film will begin to arrive at 4.30pm.

The Hobbit Trilogy has been shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second and will be released in High Frame Rate 3D (HFR 3D), other 3D formats, IMAX and 2D. The first of the movies, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released on December 12 in New Zealand, with the second film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, released on December 12, next year, and the third film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again slated for July 17, 2014.